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TomCorbett

Picked up a Mabie Todd L330/60 from the antique market yesterday ($25CAD), as my first dip into vintage pens...

 

From the info gathered searching through this forum, I figured out it's a black rubber leverless model (pre-war) with a #3 gold nib. The nib is in decent shape and buttery soft with some flex; it fits on a Noodler's Charlie, so I've been playing around with that frankenpen for now.

 

So I opened up the L330 from the nib section end; the sac had disintegrated but the pressure bar looks intact and the twist-button mechanism turns smoothly. I'm not sure how to open 'er up from the bottom though... I don't want to break the twist-fill button or anything. And I've searched online for repair videos and there's nothing for this particular model, though there's a lot for other MT leverless pens.

 

Questions:

- does anyone have info about this pen?

- any tips on cleaning/polishing hard rubber?

- anyone disassembled/repaired this one before and can offer tips?

- I measured the nipple at 18/64"... so the pen should take a size 18 sac, right?

- the pressure bar goes to about the top band on the body... from the repair book photo it doesn't look like it needs an extension... am I right?

 

Any and all info would be greatly appreciated!!

I can't wait to rock this pen as an EDC, taking notes at uni all day :)

 

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  • Cob

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Hullo.

 

First the pen is not Vulcanite ("black hard rubber") it is made from Celluloid. Polish it with Simichrome or Autosol The filler knob section and clip screw are Vulcanite and can be restored using Mark Hoover's de-oxidiser - a sticky business

 

You should have no need to dismantle the filling system. If you look down the barrel, at the bottom you will see a circular piece of metal to which the paddle is attached. In that piece there is a square slot designed to accept a tool enabling it to be unscrewed (left hand thread). usually they do not unscrew, that is occasionally they do... If it works leave it alone.

 

As for the sac, the correct sac was traditionally a necked one. These Leverless pens will not work properly unless the largest possible sac is crammed into the barrel. I would use a 20 and since it will be loose on the nipple, I would tie it with thread until it sets. With the nib removed the section is then fitted using a blunt-ended probe to ensure the sac goes fully home..

 

The nib and feed may then be fitted and the pen tested. It might even work then! I have rebuilt a lot of Leverless pens and quite a few of them have been a temperamental pain. This is often because some ham-fisted clot has forced the filler knob against a rigid sac, mis-aligning the paddle. This of course can be rectified only by dismantling. Sometimes the paddle will fall off - I have found them loose int eh barrel. I have managed in a couple of cases to solder them into place using a tiny blowtorch but it is a very fiddly business.

 

Best of luck

 

Cob

Edited by Cob

fpn_1428963683__6s.jpg “The pen of the British Empire” fpn_1423349537__swan_sign_is.jpg


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TomCorbett

Cob, you're amazing. Thanks for this!

 

I'm so glad I don't need to disassemble the filling system, I kinda figured, if it works, why mess with it?

 

And I'll order up a size 20 sac (I was kind of wavering between 18 and 20, after reading your previous posts re: largest sac possible).

 

About the material... I was using the Swan Chart (attached) where it says /60 = black hard rubber... not that I don't trust you, but I just really really want to make sure I'm not using the wrong product, ya know?

 

I'll post pics once the pen restoration is all said and done.

 

Cheers from across the pond!

 

Tom

Swan Chart.pdf

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MarcShiman

"60" refers to color, not material.

 

You know how you can see that Cob is right on the material? The turning knob at the end of the barrel is hard rubber. See how its discolored differently than everything else? If that irritates you, you could possibly use some pipe stem compound and a lot of elbow grease, and you might be able to remove the oxidation. I'd just recommend leaving it as it is however.

 

Really nice nib.

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TomCorbett

Ok thanks for clarifying... it's just confusing me cuz the chart says "60 = black hard rubber", which I assumed meant the whole body, but I can see now it simply referred to some parts... #facepalm

 

Thanks again for all your help guys!! As a millennial, I love learning this stuff and hope to be able to continue the tradition :D

 

And I plan on leaving the turning nob and barrel end as-is. I might polish it but I'm not fussy... I just want to get the pen working again.

Really, cleaning was for hygiene reasons (I mean, hands are dirty AF! )

 

And in the case I can't get the pen to work, at least I can use the nib ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

 

Cheers,

Tom

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MarcShiman

Actually, the chart is simply wrong. "60" refers to the color black, regardless of whether its hard rubber, celluloid, or some of the other weird plastics MT used.

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Yes, Mabie Todd used /61 for Vulcanite whether it were black or red-mottled or the vary rare yellow-black.

 

60 is black Celluloid, I do not think that Mabie Todd ever used the 60 code on a black hard rubber pen. Some Vulcanite (the English term for BHR) pens were produced in England post-war. The post-war pens when MT could be bothered to stamp them, all carried 4-digit numbers, the last two referring to the colour/material. So one could for example, buy a 3260 (black Celluloid) or a 3261 identical except made from Vulcanite.

 

I have often seen SM200/60s listed as being of "Black Chased Hard Rubber" They are not: they are black chased Celluloid!

 

Cob

Edited by Cob

fpn_1428963683__6s.jpg “The pen of the British Empire” fpn_1423349537__swan_sign_is.jpg


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Ok thanks for clarifying... it's just confusing me cuz the chart says "60 = black hard rubber", which I assumed meant the whole body, but I can see now it simply referred to some parts... #facepalm

 

Thanks again for all your help guys!! As a millennial, I love learning this stuff and hope to be able to continue the tradition :D

 

And I plan on leaving the turning nob and barrel end as-is. I might polish it but I'm not fussy... I just want to get the pen working again.

Really, cleaning was for hygiene reasons (I mean, hands are dirty AF! )

 

And in the case I can't get the pen to work, at least I can use the nib ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

 

Cheers,

Tom

No: as clarified the code refers not to the section, feed, clip screw, but to the basic barrel and cap material.

 

As for hygiene, I have never "caught anything" from a fountain pen - except a lighter wallet.

 

C.

Edited by Cob

fpn_1428963683__6s.jpg “The pen of the British Empire” fpn_1423349537__swan_sign_is.jpg


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SchaumburgSwan

Hullo.

...

As for the sac, the correct sac was traditionally a necked one. ...

 

Best of luck

 

Cob

 

Dear Cob,

 

is a necked one better for all leverless pens (like my L245/60) or just the larger pens?

What about the lever pens (like a SM 205/60).

 

Yours

Jens

.....................................................................................................

https://www.flickr.com/photos/136145166@N02/albums

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Lever pens do fine with a standard sac. If I recall, a 16 works well in the SM pens.

If you have an assortment of sacs, there is no need for a necked sac. Thread can be wrapped around the sac at the section nipple if the sac is otherwise loose.

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Dear Cob,

 

is a necked one better for all leverless pens (like my L245/60) or just the larger pens?

What about the lever pens (like a SM 205/60).

 

Yours

Jens

Hullo again.

 

Greenie has written exactly what I would have done.

 

C.

fpn_1428963683__6s.jpg “The pen of the British Empire” fpn_1423349537__swan_sign_is.jpg


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SchaumburgSwan

Greenie, Cob,

 

thank you, then everything is fine the way it is now.

I haven't resacked the L245 yet, my SM 205 and SF 230 are fine with a 18...

 

Best

Jens

.....................................................................................................

https://www.flickr.com/photos/136145166@N02/albums

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Greenie, Cob,

 

thank you, then everything is fine the way it is now.

I haven't resacked the L245 yet, my SM 205 and SF 230 are fine with a 18...

 

Best

Jens

Yes, the SM205 and SF230 are lever fillers, so 18 is fine.

 

Cob

fpn_1428963683__6s.jpg “The pen of the British Empire” fpn_1423349537__swan_sign_is.jpg


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  • 3 weeks later...

Update!

 

  • fitted a new #20 sac onto a shellacked nipple
  • waited for it to cure (with dental floss around it)
  • rolled it into homemade graphite powder
  • fit the neck/nipple thing back in the pen cavity (sorry I don't know all the terms)
  • syringe filled the sac with JHerbin Bleu Myosotis before reinserting the nib and feed

 

And it worked right away! (now lets hope it holds lol)

 

Thanks for your help, wonderful FP community :)

 

 

 

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You did great! Congratulations.

 

That nib is wonderful (like many Swan nibs!)

 

Of course, next time, you just fill it by twisting the end knob 1/2 to 3/4 turn, putting nib in ink, and turning the knob back to the closed position. Wait about 5 seconds for sac to draw up ink.

 

Enjoy!

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Fantastic nib!

 

Nice pens. Well worth the effort. Well done.

 

And great work from the forum members!

 

Thanks.

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  • 5 months later...

Great job. I've just purchased a similar pen on Ebay. It has 'L3' marked on the section and a number 3 nib. Does anyone know what the 'L3' stands for?

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Great job. I've just purchased a similar pen on Ebay. It has 'L3' marked on the section and a number 3 nib. Does anyone know what the 'L3' stands for?

Leverless No 3 nib!

 

Interestingly, the L300 series pens used identical barrels to the L400 series. I built a nice Frankenpen for a client - it was a L330/63 (russet & jade). It is now a "L440/63" with a nice flexible No 4 nib installed, in of course a L4 section.

 

Cob

fpn_1428963683__6s.jpg “The pen of the British Empire” fpn_1423349537__swan_sign_is.jpg


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  • 2 weeks later...

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